What Is Virtual Desktop Applications and What Are the Benefits?

Most agree that the number one IT investment organizations are making is virtualized server consolidation. Virtualization is one of the hottest industry trends, for good reason. It has the ability to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate downtime, and deliver truly remarkable cost savings.

About 10 years ago, when the proliferation of severs became nearly unmanageable, engineers began to take a second look at virtualization — adapting the IBM model to the current needs of organizations.

What Exactly is Virtualization?

The term virtualization most commonly refers to Cloud Hosted Virtual Desktop — running multiple operating systems on a single physical computer. While most computers only have one installed operating system, server virtualization software allows a computer to run several operating systems off the primary system at the same time by giving other systems access to the computer’s hardware — such as the RAM, CPU, and video cards. And, because each virtual server is isolated from other virtualized servers, if one crashes, it doesn’t affect the others.

Virtualization works by inserting a thin layer of software directly on the computer hardware or on a host operating system. This layer contains a virtual machine monitor — a hypervisor — that directs hardware resources. For instance, a virtualized Windows computer could run Linux within the Windows interface. Or a Mac could run Windows within the Mac OS X interface.

The Very Real Cost Benefits of Hosted Virtual Desktop Services

It’s not hard to imagine that by reducing the quantity of servers, organizations immediately realize a significant cost savings. VMware reports that their clients typically save 50% — 70% on overall IT costs. Some of the big ways virtualization saves money include:

• Increasing energy efficiency by accomplishing the same work with fewer machines. Analysts estimate that, without virtualization, most servers use only 5 to 25 percent of their total capacity.

• Reducing labor costs by increasing the server to administrator ratio

• Creating a highly efficient computing pool that will reduce the amount of future hardware expenditures

• Allowing growing organizations to open up valuable rack space without adding more machines

Other Important Benefits of Virtualization

Virtualization creates powerful business agility. Organizations that use virtualization to cluster, partition, and manage workloads by configuring server groups into flexible resource pools are perfectly positioned to respond like a cat to changing marketplace demands.

Virtualization fundamentally changes the way Virtual Desktop Manager interface with computing resources. Instead of wasting time monitoring 100s of machines, they can turn their focus to innovating — fully exploiting the capabilities and services the technology offers.

With virtualization, you can:

• Run multiple operating systems on a single computer

• Optimize enterprise applications for the highest performance and availability

• Save energy by reducing the number of physical servers and the energy required to power them

• Save time by performing routine tasks such as deployment, backup, archiving, and recovery more quickly

• Create flexibility — in virtualized environments, it’s easier to move things around, to encapsulate, to archive, and to optimize

• Improve enterprise desktop management with central control, faster desktop deployment, and fewer application conflicts

Virtual Desktop isn’t magic, but it comes close. An added bonus is that as time goes on, installed virtualization continues to build value by opening up new applications. For most organizations, the many cost and efficiency advantages will make virtualization one of the best investments they’ve ever made.

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